Eagles’ 46-points per game offense raising eyebrows

J. Patrick Eaken

Eastwood football’s 5-0 start is raising eyebrows, even at the state level. 

In 2017 during coach Craig Rutherford’s first season at the helm, Eastwood got the attention of the rest of Ohio when they reached the Division V state championship game, losing to Wheelersburg (15-0), 21-14, in overtime to finish the season 14-1.

In this season’s first Associated Press state poll, the Eagles were ranked tenth, and the second week they moved up to ninth. Fueling the respect given to the Eastwood program are a string of blowout wins as the Eagles outscored five opponents by a combined 236-33.

That includes non-league wins over three larger schools — Ottawa-Glandorf (D-V), 42-19, Bowling Green (D-III), 42-7 and Maumee (D-III), 56-7.

O-G, which has just 14 more boys in three grades, plays in the Western Buckeye League against mostly larger schools but is 3-2 on the season, including 3-1 in the WBL. The Eagles’ 23-point win caught even some of Eastwood’s players by surprise.

“That was one of the hottest nights of the year and we had several guys cramping up,” Rutherford said. “After we beat Ottawa-Glandorf there was a little bit of relief. The guys played really hard, and you could tell that they played hard. 

“I think that they have always believed in themselves, and they believed in the team, but for some of them they surprised even themselves with how well they were able to play in that first game. It has been fun to see that confidence build up over the last few weeks.”

Rutherford said all three non-league wins were an affirmation for the Eagles.

“Without playing those teams a year ago, I don’t think we really knew what to expect out of those three opponents,” Rutherford said.

“So, we worked all summer long to make sure we were in a great place going into week one against Ottawa-Glandorf. We spent so much time thinking about that we would have never guessed that we would jump up on them, 21-0. A lot of things had to go right for us. It’s been fun.

“We came out and we were able to establish the run early on, and then it felt like that opened up the passing game for us and we were able to get some big plays. We were able to take advantage of some turnovers.”

What Rutherford described has been Eastwood’s modus operandi — establish the running game, which opens up the passing game. 

Bryce Koprowski-Kistner has run for 529 yards on 73 carries with seven touchdowns and Case Boos has 211 yards on 32 carries with 13 TDs and one two-point conversion. Between the two junior running backs, they are averaging over seven yards per carry. 

Senior quarterback Lake Boos has completed 44 of 58 passes (75.9 percent) for 761 yards and 10 TDs. Case Boos has 29 catches for 436 yards, Isaac Cherry has six catches for 155 yards and senior Andrew Arntson has five catches for 67 yards. 

When these athletes get into space, watch out.

“We have won some different ways the last few years,” Rutherford said. “Last year we put together long drives and we would grind out three, four, or five yards at a time and hit some really big play-action passes. This year we are gaining yards in bigger chunks and a lot of that has to do with the athleticism of the backs.”

“Obviously, those guys are incredibly skilled, and we haven’t had a whole lot of guys that can do the things that they can do. There is an importance to game experience and being able to pick up on explosive plays. It certainly helped the offense get going and build up everybody’s confidence.”

However, there is another reason for the Eagles’ domination — the offensive line is winning in the trenches.

“That’s the group that seems to take the biggest jumps forward every week that we’ve been playing now. We’ve got three guys who have had a lot of experience playing varsity football — (6-foot-5, 250-pound senior Rossford transfer) Gavin Dewese, (5-9, 193 junior) Jordan Pickerel and (6-0, 268 senior) Keegan Shaink but then our guards have taken the biggest jumps for us — (5-8, 184 junior) Anthony Molina and (6-0, 224 junior) Shayne O’Brien,” Rutherford said.

“They continue to get better and better every week in practice. They’ve been working incredibly hard. They have worked for everything that they’ve gotten so far. It is a special group.”











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